Residents, the RAF and Stansted Airport react to sonic boom

Typhoon jet flying in the air

Typhoon jet. - Credit: Jamie Hunter

Hertfordshire, Cambridge and London, residents felt a sonic boom at just after 1pm today (Tuesday).

Residents in Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage are among those who heard the noise.

One said: "Yes [I heard it] just walking back from Panshanger Park thought it was an explosion!"

Another said: "I'm in Stevenage and it made the house shake. I thought something had fallen in the house or one of the solar panels had fallen off. I did a house check including checking my partner, who works night shift, [to make sure he] hadn't fallen out of bed."

An RAF spokesperson said an RAF QRA (quick reaction alert) jet from Coningsby was scrambled. 


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RAF Typhoons are authorised to go supersonic as operationally required.

“The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft that had lost communications.

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"Subsequently, communications were re-established, the aircraft was intercepted and safely escorted to Stansted.

"The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.”

A Stansted Airport spokesperson said the jet escorted an aircraft to the airport and landed safely.

The airport briefly closed the runway.

There is a limited number of flights at the moment, so no disruption is currently expected.

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